Many times, when a filmmaker tries to tackle a classic and remake/reboot it into a vision of their own, they miss the mark, especially when it comes to horror.
It’s fair to say when you’re dealing with a property like The Evil Dead - a franchise not just popular in the world of horror, but the world of cinema in general - the stakes are pretty high. Thankfully, after director Fede Alvarez (who would later direct 2016's Don’t Breathe) pitched and was approved by both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, he was able to create a final product that stayed true to the 1981 original, The Evil Dead, while still making it his own by bringing some fresh concepts to the table to horrify new and old audiences alike.
And with that, we will be taking a look behind the scenes and dishing up some fun facts on one of the more successful horror “remakes” out there, 2013's Evil Dead. Groovy.
Jane Levy Cried After Filming The Vomit Scene
As had been done on the production of the original The Evil Dead, the actors were put through the wars, but no one more so than Jane Levy. From being unable to see in her forest scene because she was covered in mud to feeling like she was going crazy, there was a lot she had to endure, that’s for sure. However, the scene she felt topped them all was when she had to vomit an obscene amount of blood and bile on co-star Jessica Lucas, so much so that after filming, she went in the corner and cried. Levy reflected in an interview:
After I did it, I walked off and I just felt like I was going to hell for real because I had done something so horrible.
They Wanted To Keep The Same Scale And Simplicity Of The Original
The reasoning behind the location for the original The Evil Dead was mainly cost. Sam Raimi and crew used an actual abandoned cabin that they had to fix up themselves.
However, it was this simplicity and scale that made the original such a hit. So even though the remake had a lot more time and money than its predecessor, they still wanted to stick to its formula. Evidence of this certainly came across when Collider’s Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub visited the set:
When I was on set, it felt like a small production rather than some studio movie.
They Always Planned For A Hard R Rating
With many remakes, reboots, and even fresh horror movies, in order to appeal to a wider audience and secure a lower rating, a lot of the more graphic content will either be toned down or cut entirely. One of the things which gained the original so much notoriety was, in fact, the blood and gore. So, before its release, fans were certainly worried when it came to the studio tampering with the “remake”.
However, much to everyone’s delight, during pre-production and in every meeting, Evil Dead was always planned to be a hard R. The studio never said pull back, thus allowing them to give their take on the infamous cabin-in-the-woods classic the approach/homage it truly deserved.
Alvarez Refused To Use Cheap Scares In The Movie
There are many tricks of the trade when it comes to scaring one's audience within the horror genre. One commonly used in successful and unsuccessful movies alike is that of the cheap scare, e.g., a character slowly opening a cupboard door to reveal a cat jumping out or a broom falling. Sure, the audience gets a fright, but only for that brief moment.
Fede Alvarez stated the feature has no cheap scares because he hates them, along with music cues that lead you to think something is going to happen when it’s not. Thankfully, all the scares in the film were pretty intense and certainly merited, and scary music was only used when something truly terrifying was happening on-screen.